Update: Crown Princess Sets Sail for New York

July 21, 2006

(12:43 p.m.) -- Crown Princess was cleared by the U.S. Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board yesterday, and departed Port Canaveral at 5 p.m. for Red Hook. According to the Orlando Sentinel, only crew and marine inspectors are onboard.

The ship had been stationed in Port Canaveral since Tuesday after an unexpected 15-degree list at sea terminated a nine-night Caribbean cruise two days early. The incident injured 240 passengers and crew, and caused interior damage to the ship such as broken glass.

What's interesting is that the Coast Guard and the NTSB are still investigating the cause of Tuesday's incident. Princess spokeswoman Julie Benson tells us they "do not know" when a final answer is expected -- yet the line has rescheduled its next cruise to depart on Saturday, July 22, just two days from now, which has some cruisers concerned. "Isn't that a little optimistic planning the next cruise when the investigation is ongoing?" one reader asked via e-mail. "I wouldn't get on the ship unless I knew what really happened...."

"Our investigation to date has confirmed to us that there are no ongoing mechanical or operational issues with Crown Princess," Benson said. "We are assuring guests that there are no ongoing mechanical or operational issues with the ship ... the damage was cosmetic, and this is being repaired currently."

The Associated Press reports that "although the crew does not need Coast Guard clearance for another voyage, the port could hold the vessel if investigators determine it is unsafe."

Crown Princess is expected to arrive at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal at 8:30 a.m. on July 22, according to a company statement. Passengers will begin embarking midday for the revised seven-day sailing which will depart at 5 p.m. that afternoon.

There have been some cancellations, according to Benson, but other new passengers have booked; the ship is expected to sail with approximately 3,000 guests.

We'll keep you posted.